10 secrets to successfully save for retirement

Maximize your employer's 401(k) match

If you have an employer who matches 401(k) contributions, your first priority should be to get that entire match. It's free money.

Even if your employer's plan has high fees, it's still worth it to contribute enough to get the maximum match.

Let's say you earn $50,000 per year and your employer will match 50 cents of every dollar you contribute up to 5% of your salary. That means if you save $2,500, your employer will contribute $1,250. This can add tens of thousands of dollars to your retirement fund over the years, and even more when you factor in dividends and capital gains.

Our 7 rules for a successful 401(k) can help you make all of the right decisions about your retirement plan. When you don't take full advantage of a 401(k) match, you could be walking away from a tremendous amount of money.